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1st XV rugby - SPC d Xavier

author: Mike Silcock

6 Aug

1st XV rugby - SPC d Xavier

St. Patrick’s College 1st XV 45 d Xavier College 12 (H) (5/8/17)
 
Try scorers: Charlie Pollard 2, Ryan Yeomans, Will Harrison, Eddie Sauvao, Chris Tuitea, Inoke Siola’a
Conversions: Chris Tuitea (5/6), Will Harrison (0/1)
 
5 – Inoke Siola’a 4 – Ethan Jessop 3 – Ola Tauelangi 2 – Pou Siola’a 1 – Eddie Sauvao
This was perhaps not the game we had wished for on the first day of Finals, however it was a game that needed to be won to continue our late season momentum, finish the season in 5th spot and build on the work done this year to propel us into the 2018 season.
This would also be our final game at home and an opportunity to give a proper send off to our three Yr12s, Will Harrison, Charlie Pollard and Ola Tauelangi.
Schoolboy rugby is a special time for any rugby player and these three young men have served their College with distinction – Saturday was an opportunity to recognise that.
The opening exchanges were very much in the favour of our opponents.
Playing into the wind and making basic errors Xavier scored the first try and deservedly so.
Ill-discipline has littered our season and in the early part of this game it seemed that we were following in this unhealthy pattern.
No-one can doubt the passion and commitment our players feel towards playing for each other and the College, however this must be done within the rules of the game.
This will be a key focus in our offseason/preseason, ahead of next season.
Ultimately a team warning and a following penalty led to us being reduced to 14 players – and yet the irony can’t be missed as the whole team rallied, around an outstanding performance from our captain, Inoke Siola’a, to score twice and lead at the break 14-5.
The second half was an outstanding team effort.
We scored 5 tries to one as we highlighted that quality possession rugby will always provide positive dividends.
Our discipline, our key individual skills all vastly improved and the cohesion of the side was impressive.
I would like to highlight arguably the finest team try I have seen in a number of years – following a strong scrum, anchored by Will Harrison and debutant Mitch Hammond, slick passing saw the ball in the hands of Yr10 Ethan Jessop.
His power running has been a joy to behold all season and belies his young years – I shudder to think what he will be capable of over the next couple of years.
Breaking into the 22 Ethan was eventually brought down before quick ball and slick hands saw winger Ryan Yeomans touch down in the corner.
The conversion was made to ensure the perfect team try.
Impressively we never took the foot off the gas, highlighting just how capable this side is.
We were able to give our three year 12s, and the many spectators young and old, quite the spectacle and much excitement for next week’s game against Melbourne Grammar (where we shall aim for a little revenge!!) and then on into season 2018.
Thank you to all who made our final home game of the season the wonderful occasion that it was – your support has been unwavering all year – we are indeed blessed.